Red Bulls McCarty, Meara, Hartman continue recovery

(Photo, New York Red Bulls)

(Photo, New York Red Bulls)

New York Red Bulls midfielder Dax McCarty made the team’s 18 man roster against New England; a promising sign that his quad injury has significantly subsided.

On Tuesday, he began full training with the side. Now comes the waiting game; will he be fit enough to start at home against the LA Galaxy?

“He’s still feeling it a little bit here and there,” head coach Mike Petke said. “The rest of his body is not responding exactly but I think he will be alright.”

That is Petke’s way of saying he needs to regain his fitness.

“It’s very natural that if a player goes down with an injury like he did a couple of weeks ago and is working hard on the sideline, of course he comes back, and the quad feels good but getting back to the grind and the pounding of the field, other parts, no injuries, but maybe a little stiff – it’s all about fitness,” he said.

“He doesn’t have his fitness completely yet. He played a full practice and there was no issues afterwards. As far as the quad goes, it’s doing very well and it’s coming along great.”

Never one to speculate on his gameday roster, Petke didn’t commit on his midfielder’s readiness for the starting XI. “I’m pretty sure he will be in the 18,” he conceded. “Whether what role he is going to play is going to be determined by this week; how he feels, how he looks. If he feels like he is game ready, if we feel like he is ready for a full 90, the last thing we want to do is to start a player that we are certain will not play 90 minutes. If that is the case, I’d rather have him come off the bench. I need players that can play 90 in case things happen.”

Meanwhile, Ryan Meara’s road to recovery continues. The 22 year old Yonkers native has not played a competitive minute since July of last season. Since then, he has been derailed by a pair of hip surgeries stemming from a collision with New England Revolution player Kelyn Rowe.

While he has only played 45 minutes of reserve team action and 90 of an intrasquad match, Petke paints a favorable picture for Meara’s return.

“We are looking at a month,” he said. “Within the next month, he should be, possibly if everything goes fine, eligible to be on the 18 roster. At the end of the month here coming up, that’s when our first Open Cup is. I don’t think Ryan would be ready to play yet. I could be wrong but as of now, I don’t think so. As the tournament goes on, just so everything gets better, that’s always an option for sure.

“Meara continues to do well. We are looking at him very shortly within the next month, I hope, to be eligible in the 18 on the bench. We’ll take it from there.”

As for 38 year old veteran Kevin Hartman, Petke only offered that “his fitness keeps improving and he is almost there as well.”